Two Indictments, One Guilty Plea

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Trump Maladministration

Let’s start with the guilty plea, because news of that broke just this morning

A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday.

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about that conversation. The plea represents the most explicit evidence connecting the Trump campaign to the Russian government’s meddling in last year’s election.

Here’s the affadavit against Papadopoulos. I haven’t read it through yet, but let’s keep going.

Josh Marshall writes on the Papadopoulos plea:

It shows a Trump foreign policy advisor in active communication with what appear to be Russian government officials or spies trying to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, arrange meetings with Russian government officials (even Vladimir Putin, rather ludicrously) and solicit Russian support. That an active foreign policy advisor was taking these actions while in active communication with the campaign about those actions is quite damning. An unnamed campaign official sent back word that a meeting with Trump himself was not happening.

Papadopolous was arrested in July and has apparently been cooperating since. I see no purely legal reason why the news of his arrest in July and guilty plea in early October had to be revealed today, other than keeping the news from Manafort. One other potential reason is that one of the ‘campaign officials’ referenced in the Papadopolous plea appears to be Manafort. It sends two clear messages. First, we’re not at all done with collusion and we’re making progress. Second, we arrested Papadopolous in July and he pled out in October and no one knew. So don’t think you have any idea what we have.

Josh Marshall concludes by saying, “But in revealing the Manafort news early, giving time for the White House to respond as you’d expect (nothing to do with us or Russia or the campaign) and then following up by revealing this Papadopolous indictment certainly has the feel of sucker punching the White House.” Heh.

By now you’ve heard that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted and taken into custody.

The charges in the indictments against Manafort and Gates are mostly about activities that went on before they became part of Trump’s campaign. The smart people all say that Mueller is trying to flip Manafort and Gates to dish on Trump.

See also:

Paul Manafort’s central role in the Trump-Russia investigation, explained

How Paul Manafort’s arrest fits into Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, explained

I’ll post more links if I come across some good ones.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Oct 30, 2017 @3:14 pm

    Well, it wasn't the indictment scenario I was hoping for, but it did manage to allow me to achieve an emotional orgasm of sorts. What brought me to a climax was the line in Papadopoulos' guilty plea where he agreed to the truthfulness of facts that remained unstated in the indictment. Oooh, baby!

     I also found that the use of the repeated phrase —In furtherance of the scheme — to be rather arousing.

  2. Doug  •  Oct 30, 2017 @4:06 pm

    Interesting…very interesting

  3. Marcus  •  Oct 30, 2017 @5:29 pm

    Popehat has a lawsplainer for the charges – clear explanation of what's there.  

  4. Gerald Parks  •  Oct 30, 2017 @6:32 pm

    Dotard 45 has been in office 9 months …and has finally given birth …Russians ….yes …RUSSIANS …The ONLY nation the USA has signed SALT 1, SALT 2, START 1 and START 2 with to prevent "mutually assured destruction" with nuclear weapons aimed at US(America)!

    17 of this Nation's national security departments has stated that these very same Russians have tampered with and enfluenced the 2016 election for POTUS in favor of the GOP/Republican Party's nominee AND today we learn that a member of that team CONFESSED and plead GUILTY to meeting WITH a Russian contact to get "dirt" on Democrats nominee.

    Ukraine!

    And what about Ukraine? 

    Mr Manafort …what about Ukraine?

    LOL …more to come!!!

  5. Tom_b  •  Oct 30, 2017 @7:42 pm

    The fact that Manafort and Gates entered not guilty pleas indicates that having multi-million dollar estates does not imply a high enough IQ to hire competent legal counsel. They are so screwed, not that they don’t deserve it.

  6. csm  •  Oct 30, 2017 @7:59 pm

    I suspect that Manafort's only worry isn't Mueller.  He's in that typical position wherein talking can be hazardous to his health.  In order for him to plead, he's got to give up those above him, and that's where the danger could lie, for him.  At 68, even after talking, a plea deal could have Manafort still doing what may amount to a life sentence.  Given these odds, I can see why he might take his chances in court.  Not sure to the extent Gates may be similarly beholden.

    And this is probably only Mueller's opening shot.  And I suspect there will be more plays like this going forward, tightening the noose around Trump and his inner circle — Jr, Kushner and others.

    Keep the popcorn handy!

  7. c u n d gulag out, replace him  •  Oct 30, 2017 @9:13 pm

    And what did Donaldovich Ttumpski's (big) mouthpiece, 'Sister Sarah the Prevaricator', start her daily lecture to and at the Press with?

    Nothing to do with what the hell was the news of the day:  The indictments.

    No.  Instead, she started it with some old Reich-Wing faux parable to explain our tax structure, involving reporters in bars splitting the bar tab.

    WTF?!?!?!

    Well, on the plus sid, at least she didn'the sing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall!"

    As for (DUMB)FUX "news," it covered any and everything BUT the indictments:  Including where the cheese was on a cheeseburger emoji.

    Oy………..

     

  8. Dan  •  Oct 31, 2017 @11:07 am

    Don't forget: Pardon.  Any Federal crime, even before conviction.  Carrot.

    Trump's enemies tend to not fare well. Stick.

  9. Doug  •  Oct 31, 2017 @11:50 am

    The comment I heard from a lawyer on MSNBC who read the full charges was that "no lawyer" would advice taking it to trial. If that's true Manafort's lawyers have two options – strike a deal w testimony or get a pardon from Trump now. 

    Let's look at the public statement from Manifort's mouthpiece yesterday. Nobody seemed to notice, except Trump, the first clause of the defense of Manifort – that there was no linkage in the indictment to Trump and no evidence of collusion. I've been hanging around with lawyers the last few years so it stuck out. WTF??!! WHY would Manifort's lawyers act like they were representing Trump? That Trump isn't named is no defense of the charges whatsoever. Any competent (I almost said decent) lawyer knows who he's representing. 

    The only defense Manifort has is that Mueller went beyond the scope of his mandate in the charges – which isn't a defense any lawyer can make in court – the judge won't allow it – but it's an appeal and and implied threat that the justification Trump could use to give Manifort a complete pardon is that Trump was not named in the charges. I said there is an implied threat – no pardon, Manifort sings.

  10. Swami  •  Oct 31, 2017 @3:36 pm

    I think Trump's pardon option has pretty much been curtailed.

  11. Swami  •  Oct 31, 2017 @8:53 pm

    Manafort's lawyer seems a little uptight, sorta like a high compression personality type.

    And Trump should fire that light weight fraud Jay Seklow and hire Harry Houldini to pull him out of the mess he's in.



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